Another way out : the wartime communist movement in Jiangsu, 1937-1945
This dissertation examines the survival and expansion strategies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by focusing on its organization and mobilization activities during the War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1945). I argue that the Communist forces quickly expanded during the wartime not merely because the War provided an opportunity to avoid the Guomingdang (GMD)’s intensive military aggression and legitimately expand itself throughout China. More importantly, it also allowed the CCP to develop a unique political culture with a grasp on local knowledge during the years under investigation. This cultural climate worked to rejuvenate itself through organizational consolidation and the rebuilding of political identity. Together, these factors accounted for the dramatic expansion of the CCP’s membership and military forces, which prepared the Party for its takeover of the country after the Japanese surrender. The main body of this dissertation is composed of five thematic chapters. Chapter two explores the CCP’s penetration into local society through mass resistance associations and political renovation of existing power structures. Chapter three investigates Communist propaganda activities, the success of which laid in coordination with the Party’s follow-up organizational arrangements. The next chapter examines the Communist educational institutions as a channel of mass mobilization that further reinforced its penetration into various social groups. Chapter five uses Grain Tax, conscription and mobilization of anti-pacification campaign, all of which required personal sacrifice from the masses, as three instances that exemplified the Party’s controllability over local communities. Finally, chapter six focuses on its strategies to contain undesirable tendencies of local cadres and strengthen ideological consensus within the Party.